Corsica – Photo by Teddy Verneuil
The start of a new year brings the irresistible temptation to make new year’s resolutions. We all love to make grandiose plans for the months ahead to ensure that this coming year is exceptional and fun – the moment we accomplish that goal, do that thing, or buy that plane ticket…
If your new year’s resolutions include travel plans, consider making one of those ticket purchases to a new destination in France. This incredible country and its tropical territories have so much to offer that just might exceed your wildest dreams for a year of new adventures.
Read on for our pick of 24 French destinations you should visit in 2024. If something sparks your interest, check out the further resources we offer on the destination – linked in the text – from purchasable itineraries to free discovery guides to guided luxury tours.
The famous words proclaimed by Audrey Hepburn are true: Paris is always a good idea. Whether you have visited Paris yet or not, there is a timeless quality about the City of Lights that makes each trip just as magical as the last. With so much ground to explore, pick a different neighborhood to stay in with each visit if you are not already sold on a particular district.
Check out our hour-by-hour 5-day itinerary on the Saint-Germain neighborhood here.
The oldest and second largest city in the country, Marseille is a highly underrated vacation destination on the coast of the Mediterranean. A major central port hub, the city is a mix of vibrant cultures that is sure to inspire any traveler. Marseille also enjoys convenient proximity to small islands and vineyards that make for easy day trips.
Shop our 4-day itinerary to Marseille, including a day trip to the Frioul Islands and wine tasting in Cassis here.
Rocky beaches, glistening waters, Belle Époque architecture, seafront promenades… The glitz and glamor that gets wrapped up in the sound of “summer in the south of France” is hard to deny. Nice is a fantastic place to begin an exploration of the Côte d’Azur, whether the journey continues inland to the art-filled hills of Saint-Paul-de-Vence or along the sunny coastline to Cannes, Antibes, or Monaco.
Purchase our 5-day itinerary to Nice & the Côte d’Azur here.
Normandy offers an abundance of landscapes, villages, sites, and attractions. Its coast is home to the famous D-Day landing beaches of WWII and white chalk cliffs depicted in paintings by renowned artists like Claude Monet whose home and iconic gardens in Giverny are just a short one-hour train ride from Paris. In between these regional destinations are charming oceanfront villages like Deauville, Trouville, and Honfleur for a nautical getaway.
We offer a plethora of resources for this region, including a 5-day itinerary to explore the Gardens of Normandy, an 11-day itinerary to Paris, Normandy & the Loire, a general Discovery Guide of Normandy, and a local guide to Honfleur.
5. The Loire Valley
With its numerous royal châteaux and charming stone towns dotted along the wide country rivers, the Loire Valley is one of France’s most-visited regions for its beautiful, rich landscapes. Rolling vineyards, natural parks and a wide selection of excellent hotels and restaurants await in this magical region of France.
Tucked away in the heart of the Haute-Savoie region, is an impossibly enchanting fairytale-like Alpine town. Annecy enjoys a unique position at the northern tip of a picturesque aquamarine lake overlooking snow-capped mountains. Just an hour south of the notoriously lavish Geneva, Switzerland, this lesser-known town is a hidden gem in southeastern France.
7. Le Gers
Some are branding this area of France as the “new Provence.” Beautiful landscapes, charming villages, and fantastic weather – without the hype and bustle of the French Riviera. A department in the Occitanie region, the Gers is renowned for its gastronomy and sunflower fields. A stop along the famous pilgrimage trail Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James), the quiet roads here lead to a tranquil haven.
Join our cooking and culinary tour in this relaxing region of southwest France in May! Learn more here.
A visually breathtaking region, the lush valleys, expansive rivers, small stone-built villages, and stunning gardens make every day in Dordogne an absolute pleasure. Nestled between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees Mountains in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, this ancient rural destination is renowned for prehistoric paintings and culinary delicacies like black truffle and foie gras.
Come along our MFCH Tour to Dordogne in October! Learn more here.
9. The Luberon
The Luberon, in the heart of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, is instantly recognizable by its perched hilltop villages and stunning natural beauty that has inspired scores of artists including the likes of Van Gogh and Cézanne. One of its other most iconic claims to fame is the dreamlike rows of lavender fields that capture every visitor’s heart (and nose).
Map out a trip to Provence with our 7-day itinerary to the Luberon here.
This legendary ski village nestled in the French Alps attracts curious adventurers and seekers of unparalleled mountainous beauty from around the world. An alpine wonderland in the heart of the majestic Mont Blanc massif, Chamonix is a haven not only for winter sports enthusiasts, but for anyone who appreciates raw nature and mountain culture.
Read more about Chamonix in the Discovery Guide of the new January/February edition of My French Country Home magazine here.
Aix-en-Provence (or simply “Aix”) is an elegant Provençal set against a spectacular backdrop of vineyards, lavender fields, and the iconic Saint Victoire Mountain. Filled with lively markets, charming boutiques, and ancient fountains, this quaint yet vibrant city in the heart of rosé wine country is an ideal summer destination.
Find our 3-day itinerary for a long weekend in Aix-en-Provence here.
World-famous surfing hotspot, Biarritz boasts some of the best beaches and waves in all of Europe. The elegant seaside town is located in the Basque country just above the border of Spain. Often dubbed “little California,” Biarritz and the surrounding fishing villages like Saint-Jean-de-Luz are a beachgoer and surfer’s paradise.
Stay tuned for a feature on Biarritz and Saint-Jean-de-Luz coming soon in a summer edition of My French Country Home magazine.
A region that is just as exciting as its sparkling drink, Champagne is an impressive destination just a short train ride or drive from Paris. Along with a tour of one of the prestigious Champagne Houses, visit the “the most expensive street in the world” (due to the miles of bottles housed underground), the church where Dom Perignon – the father of Champagne – is buried or the impressive Notre Dame cathedral in Reims.
14. Saint Tropez
An illustrious playground for the rich and famous, Saint Tropez is a glamorous Mediterranean destination that makes for a luxurious home base on the French Riviera. Enjoy the finer things in life at the town’s myriad of high-end hotels and beach clubs then journey to a nearby vineyard to get a premier tasting of the rosé featured in restaurants along the coast.
Get our 5-day itinerary to Saint Tropez and Wine Country here.
From the western edge of Provence all the way to the Spanish border, the Languedoc is a lesser-known region that extends along the Mediterranean. Amongst the maritime villages, expansive beaches, medieval castles and rolling vineyards is the unassuming yet astonishingly attractive town of Narbonne. A long-time French secret, Narbonne is the perfect holiday destination to enjoy raw nature and seaside charm without the crowds of the Côte d’Azur.
See our Discovery Guide to Narbonne in the March/April 2023 edition of the magazine here.
One of the most visited sites in all of France, Mont-Saint-Michel is an astounding architectural wonder accessible each day only at low tide. Emerging high above the bay between Normandy and Brittany, this fantastic mountain island enclosed within a medieval fortress is a true marvel and a unique destination for anyone venturing to northern France.
Discover 10 interesting facts about Mont-Saint-Michel here.
It is no wonder why French royalty, for more than 800 years, escaped to this enchanting town less than an hour from Paris. Deeply rooted in history, Fontainebleau serves as a wonderful day trip or weekend getaway. Its primary attraction is the iconic Château de Fontainebleau which is beautifully juxtaposed with the vast Fontainebleau Forest – the largest in the country.
Read our Discovery Guide to Fontainebleau here.
A mix of French and German culture makes Strasbourg one of the most interesting towns to visit in France. Located near the German border, the region has a strong identity and traditions built on both countries’ customs. The best time to visit this impressive Alsatian town is in December to revel in its magical Christmas markets.
Check out our Discovery Guide including tips on how to navigate the Christmas markets here.
Home to the king of fine wine, a visit to Bordeaux is a dream for any wine enthusiast. In addition to gorgeous rolling vineyards, the city is also known for its beautiful and harmonious architecture, boasting a picturesque blend of urban innovation and centuries-old savoir-faire. A perfect destination to indulge in unique cultural and vinous experiences.
See our Discovery Guide to Bordeaux here.
This is a must-visit for foodies. The gastronomic capital of France, Lyon offers a French culinary adventure like no other. Explore the Old Town and find the most authentic flavors at the Bouchons de Lyon, a category of friendly bistros serving hearty dishes. A little taste of everything can be found at Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, the namesake food court of the legendary French chef.
21. Porto Vecchio, Corsica
Bursting with untamed natural beauty, Porto Vecchio — a charming town on the island of Corsica — has everything you need for a memorable, sun-filled trip. The French have long known the magnificence of this “miniature continent” set near the coast of western Italy, but to the rest of the world, Corsica has remained a largely well-kept secret. However, a vacation to Porto Vecchio will quickly reveal why it’s nicknamed the “Île de Beauté” (“Island of Beauty”).
Explore the region with our Discovery Guide to Porto Vecchio here.
Beyond the mainland in Europe, a number of small islands are part of the overseas collectivity of France. A proud extension of the country, these islands share a similar culture and primarily speak French or a dialect of the language like Créole.
Lush rainforests bordered by beaches alongside towns filled with shops, cafés, and cathedrals… the true essence of France reverberates through this Caribbean island. Part of the West Indies, the blend of cultural influences in the main town of Fort-de-France makes a trip to Martinique as culturally enriching as a visit to Europe with all of the benefits of a tropical island.
23. Sainte Barthélemy (St. Barts)
The powdery white sand beaches are an unmistakable indicator of the idyllic island of St. Barts. Catering to a luxurious clientele, a vacation on this island is not cheap, but it is most certainly worth every penny for those who appreciate the finer things in life. The local businesses include designer stores and high-end restaurants that enhance the opulent grandeur of this little French paradise.
Moving lastly to the other side of the world in the South Pacific Ocean lies French Polynesia – the only overseas country of France (and the site of the upcoming surfing competitions of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games!). Tahiti is the biggest island in this archipelago and the most popular with tourists – for good reason. The crystal-clear waters surrounding the island offer a serene suspension above reality for those in need of a tranquil getaway – or for athletes, a gnarly wave to hop on.
Check out our MFCH Travel page for more vacation inspiration as you plan your next dream getaway for 2024!